Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin declined to answer if he would receive the vaccine before the mandate deadline following the new federal mandate that Auburn announced it would adhere too.
Employees of Auburn University who don’t receive the vaccination by Dec. 8, 2021, are subject to termination barring a specific exemption.
“So, I’m aware of the new policy," Harsin said. "...But it doesn’t change, I mean, the executive order you know all those things, it doesn’t change the fact that I’m not gonna discuss any individual’s decision or status on the vaccine or anyone else’s including my own, like I said before. So, from the beginning I think I made it clear that that wasn’t something I was going to talk about...I don’t feel like right now that’s any different."
The first-year head coach made it clear to the public that he isn’t “anti-vaccine” back in August when he tested positive for Covid-19 before the start of the season, but refused to say whether or not he had received the vaccination at that point. It is apparent he shares that same sentiment now, even with the executive mandate and possible employment repercussions looming in the air.
As of October 21, 82% of Auburn’s employees had received at least a partial dosage of the vaccine, according to the University.
"We’re focused on Ole Miss, we’re focused on the things we have to do to prepare for this week," Harsin said. "There’s a lot of other things right now that we have to make sure we’re ready for with this football team. And that’s what I gotta stay focused on with our players, our staff and the people in this program. We’ve had those conversations but that doesn’t change what I’ve said before.”
Harsin and the Tigers’ focus shifts back to this weekend as they play host to No. 9 Ole Miss at 6 p.m. CST on Oct. 30. There are five games remaining on the schedule before the season closes out and the mandate is required.
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Larry is a senior studying journalism with a minor in sociology. He is from Enterprise, Alabama and is in his third year with The Auburn Plainsman.